Teaching is a widely popular and important profession in South Africa today; however, as with many fields, there is a concerningly high number of students who cannot pursue the profession due to lack of funding for their studies. The department of education is attempting to increase access to the study of education as well as promote quality teachers in government schools. Therefore, the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme was introduced in order to provide around 38 000 bursaries to prospective teachers in priority subjects or areas. The bursary is offered to students with good academic abilities on a year-by-year basis with the condition that recipients teach at a state school once qualified.
To apply for this funding, students should first be certain that:
they have been accepted for one of the four years of a Bachelor of Education (Bed) or for the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE); they are below 31 years of age; they are a South African citizen with a valid South African ID number; they have proficient academic ability; they are interested in or committed to working in the teaching field; they do not have a criminal record or record of misconduct professionally.
The application process follows nine steps that must be completed: (these have been extracted from the official website for the programme http://www.funzalushaka.doe.gov.za/)
- Enter www.eservices.gov.za in your web browser
- Register by providing personal information as prompted
- Select ‘Login’ and enter the username and password created in Step 2
- Find the e-Services Menu and select ‘Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme.’
- You will receive an OTP through email or SMS; enter it as prompted.
- Select ‘Accept’ on the Terms and Conditions
- Select the 2021 application button on the dashboard menu
- Fill in the required field with your information as prompted.
- Confirm the information that you have entered by accepting the declaration
Once the applicant has been granted the bursary, they will have the following expenses covered: tuition fees, accommodation, meals, resources such as books, teaching practice expenses, and a small stipend for living expenses where possible. There is a limit to the amount of money provided. If a particular institution charges more than that limit, the student will be responsible for the extra costs.
The student is also guaranteed work after their degree but must teach in a public school where a Provincial Education Department will place them for the same number of years they received the bursary. i.e. if they acquired the bursary for two years of their degree, they must teach in a public school for two years. Suppose the student is completing their degree through distance learning or a part-time programme. In that case, they are still suitable for the bursary. It is not possible to utilize the Funza Lushaka bursary along with another bursary.
More information can be found through the department of education or at Student Financial Aid Offices at your university. Best of luck!